Piano Men Charity

(antiMusic) Have a half a million laying around in the couch cushions? Then you can own a music treasure. Here is the announcement: One Of A Kind Piano Autographed By Billy Joel, Elton John, Emanuel Ax, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Bruce Hornsby, Evgeny Kissin And Barbara Nissman is up for auction to benefit the Walden Woods Project and American Forests

A first of its kind collaboration between Steinway and Sons, renowned marquetry artist Silas Kopf, an impressive group of well-known popular and classical recording artists, and two compelling charities (the Walden Woods Project and American Forests) has resulted in the creation of a unique collector’s item – the Walden Woods Art Case Piano. The Model D concert grand will be auctioned by Christie’s at a fundraising event in Manhattan on October 4th with the goal of securing a minimum bid of $500,000.

The plate of the piano has been signed, and the piano has been played, by an extraordinary group of artists including Elton John, Emanuel Ax, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Bruce Hornsby, Barbara Nissman, Evgeny Kissin and Billy Joel. Billy Joel will play the Walden Steinway during his performance at the fundraiser/auction. Don Henley will also perform, as will classical pianist Barbara Nissman.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Walden Woods Project, the charity founded by Eagle Don Henley that preserves the birthplace of the American environmental movement and reaches an international audience of students and teachers to foster the next generation of conservationists. Also benefiting from the piano auction proceeds will be American Forests, the nation’s oldest nonprofit conservation group.

Naturally felled wood from the area surrounding historic Walden Pond in Massachusetts – the inspiration for the writings of Henry David Thoreau – was used in creating the marquetry (decorative art using in-laid wood) on the piano depicting the flora and fauna of Walden Woods. The piano has a series of plaques surrounding the rim that depict trees and plants that Thoreau wrote about. The legs of the piano are inverted arches that depict Walden Pond with various forms of aquatic life. One of Thoreau’s most well known quotations (“I went to the woods to live deliberately…”) surrounds the upper rim of the piano.

The piano is a one of a kind, collector’s item that blends artistry and the unsurpassed quality of a Steinway piano – and adds the unique feature of popular culture in the form of high profile musicians who have played and signed the Walden Steinway. A successful bidder will not only realize the dream of owning this extraordinary instrument but will be making a sizable tax deductible contribution to two compelling environmental charities. Steinway and Sons has made a generous donation to the manufacturing of the piano. Christie’s is donating its services for the auction. The fundraiser/auction is sponsored by Merrill Lynch.

“Merrill Lynch is proud to support the Walden Woods Project and their mission of preserving Walden Pond and Woods and other inspiring places for generations to come,” said Eddy Bayardelle, president of the Merrill Lynch Foundation. “We recognize that protecting our global ecosystem is of vital importance to us as a commercial enterprise as well as a good corporate citizen and we strive to partner with groups like the Walden Woods Project who are committed to protecting and enhancing our environment.”

For further information on the October fundraiser/auction, and instructions on placing a telephone, absentee or e-mail bid, please call or e-mail the Walden Woods Project at 781-259-4700 or wwproject@walden.org. Additional information on the piano may be found at www.walden.org or at http://www.steinway.com/steinway/artcase_collection/walden_woods.shtml

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